Above are the executives who control the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Health Administration, the Veterans Benefits Administration, your VA benefits and your health care.

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Do You Have


About Your Claim?

The process of filing a claim for

VA disability benefits can be daunting

and confusing. If you have questions

Gisela Schmid is a veterans

advocate, an agent who is

accredited by the VA to represent veterans.

Ask Gisela about your claim,

how to file a claim or how to

get an increase in your existing benefit.

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service provided by your VAWatchdog

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How To &

Frequently Asked


How To...

Apply For SSDI

How to apply for Social

Security Disability (SSDI)

The Schedule For

Rating Disabilities

How to determine just what

your rating should be

38 CFR Book C, Schedule

for Rating Disabilities

Apply For TDIU

How to apply for

the TDIU benefit

Disability Benefits

Questionnaires (DBQ's) 

How to use DBQs
List By DBQ Form Name
​​DBQ Provider Instructions

Apply For A Disability Rating

How To Apply For A Disability Rating

Apply For An Increase to

an Existing Rating

How To Apply For An Increase

Replace Service Records
How to Replace military
service records and awards


Frequently Asked


Voc Rehab​
What is Voc Rehab and
how can it help me?

What is CHAMPVA?

Home Primary Care
Am I eligible for Home
Based Primary Care?

P & T

Permanent & Total
What exactly is P & T?

Where Do I Submit
ALL Paperwork?

Remember: Use Certified Mail!
Fax Is Preferred!

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Numbers Where to
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& Documents

Brett Valette, PhD

Veterans Clinical


​Veterans Psych Evaluations

PTSD    MST    Depression

Too many veterans have

waited too long!

I'm here to help you

get the benefits you deserve.

Click Here For More

Information and to

Contact Dr. Valette

The Data Dump

Vital Links to

Support Your Claim

Veterans Law Library

​A Comprehensive Collection

of  Materials Relating to the

Veterans Benefits

Adjudication Process

U.S. Medicine

A monthly publication that

serves healthcare professionals

working in the Department

of Veterans Affairs, Department of

Defense and U.S.

Public Health Service.

Veterans Benefits


Fact Sheets


Answer questions to find out which

benefits you may be able to receive

The M21-1MR

Every Benefit - Every Detail



Even More Benefits & Details

Bilateral Factor
CFR › Title 38 › Chapter I ›
Part 4 › Subpart A › Section 4.26

M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii,
Chapter 2, Section F -
Compensation Based on
Individual Unemployability (IU)

M21-1, Part IV, Subpart ii,
Chapter 2, Section H -
Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)

M21-1, Part III, Subpart iv,
Chapter 8, Section D -
Reductions in Awards

M21-1, Part I, Chapter 5,
Section B - Notice of
Disagreement (NOD)

Your VA Claim
If you haven't figured it out by now,
it's time to realize you're involved in a giant paper shuffle
and this IS NOT a spectator sport.
Put down your gun
and pick up your keyboard.
The battlefield has changed.



VA Form 21-0966 - Intent To File A Claim

VA Form 21-526EZ -  File A Claim

Disability Service Connection

Secondary Service Connection-Increased

Disability Compensation-Temporary

Total Disability Rating -

 Individual Unemployability -

Compensation under 38 U.S.C. 1151 -

 Special Monthly Compensation -

Specially Adapted Housing/Special

Home Adaptation Automobile 

Allowance/Adaptive Equipment -

Benefits Based on a Veteran's

Seriously Disabled Child

VA Form 21-0958 - NOD

​Notice of Disagreement

The first step to appeal

VA Form 21-534 EZ

Application for DIC, Death Pension

Change of Address

TDIU Annual - VA Form 4140

VA form 21-686c

Declaration of Status of Dependents

Greg Rada

Veterans Law Attorney

OEF/OIF Veteran

We practice virtually all areas of law related

to VA benefits or military disability, and we

represent veterans at all levels of

the VA benefits adjudication process.

Agent Orange

Clear and Unmistakable Error

Disability Compensation

Gulf War Syndrome / Medically Unexplained Illness

Individual Unemployability


For A Free Case Assessment

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VA Forms

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If you can't find it here,

it may not exist

Dr. Leah Wingeart

Leah Wingeart is a clinical psychologist

who served honorably in the U.S. Navy from

2008 to 2015.  Her specialties are conducting Independent Medical Examinations and writing

Mental Disorder and  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Disability Benefits Questionnaires

(DBQs) for veterans or service members.

Independent Medical Exams (IME)
Disability Benefits Questionnaires



Click Here For

More Information

Military separation pay

impact on VA compensation

Under federal law, until veterans

pay back their involuntary separation

pay, they can have their

VA disability

compensation withheld.

Speak With A Veterans Law Attorney

Or An Expert Physician


Case Evaluations Are

Always Free!

Veterans Law Attorney

At GloverLuck, helping veterans is our only business. We are veterans law, at your service.

Service-Connected Disability

​Federal Tort Claims

Title 38 U.S.C. 1151

​​Family Law for Veterans And Active Duty Servicemembers

Click Here​ For More Information

The Veterans Medical Advisor

Nationwide Representation

Independent Medical Examination


Independent Medical Opinion


Medical Records Review

​Nexus Letters

​Expert Witness & Opinion

Click Here To

Contact Dr. Bash

Were you improperly denied

entitlement to reimbursement of 
medical expenses incurred for emergency medical services?

You need to speak with a

veterans law attorney today!

Click Here To Talk With A

Veterans Law Attorney For Free.

Veterans Affairs Improperly Rejected Vets'

Emergency Medical Reimbursements



Robert Friedman

Veterans Law Attorney

Veterans Disability

Claims & Appeals

​TBI     PTSD     MST

TDIU Unemployability

Agent Orange Claims


DRO, BVA, CAVC Appeals

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Nationwide Representation
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Contact Drew


America's Leading Resource For
Military Veterans News & Benefits Information 

Over Ten Years of Service to America's Military Veterans

Since 2005 This Is The Site VA Reads When They

Want To Learn What They've Been Doing

Welcome Aboard!

Title 38
Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans' Relief

Title 38 of the United States Code outlines the role of

Veterans' Benefits in the United States Code.

We believe that the more you know about the laws,

rules and regulations that govern the VA disability

compensation process, the more likely

it is that you will receive the correct award.

Here we'll review some of the more frequently cited parts of

Title 38 as well as other pertinent laws, rules and regulations.

§3.12   Character of discharge.
(a) If the former service member did not die in service, pension, compensation,

or dependency and indemnity compensation is not payable unless the period of

service on which the claim is based was terminated by discharge or release

under conditions other than dishonorable. (38 U.S.C. 101(2)). A discharge

under honorable conditions is binding on the Department of

Veterans Affairs as to character of discharge.

§3.10   Dependency and indemnity

compensation rate for a surviving spouse.
(a) General determination of rate. When VA grants a surviving spouse

entitlement to DIC, VA will determine the rate of the benefit it will award.

The rate of the benefit will be the total of the basic monthly rate specified

in paragraph (b) or (d) of this section and any applicable

increases specified in paragraph (c) or (e) of this section.

§3.102   Reasonable doubt.
It is the defined and consistently applied policy of the Department of Veterans

Affairs to administer the law under a broad interpretation, consistent, however,

with the facts shown in every case. When, after careful consideration of all

procurable and assembled data, a reasonable doubt arises regarding

service origin, the degree of disability, or any other point, such doubt will

be resolved in favor of the claimant. By reasonable doubt is meant one

which exists because of an approximate balance of positive and negative

evidence which does not satisfactorily prove or disprove the claim. It is a

substantial doubt and one within the range of probability as distinguished

from pure speculation or remote possibility. It is not a means of reconciling

actual conflict or a contradiction in the evidence. Mere suspicion or doubt

as to the truth of any statements submitted, as distinguished from impeachment

or contradiction by evidence or known facts, is not justifiable basis for

denying the application of the reasonable doubt doctrine if the entire,

complete record otherwise warrants invoking this doctrine. The reasonable

doubt doctrine is also applicable even in the absence of official records,

particularly if the basic incident allegedly arose under combat, or

similarly strenuous conditions, and is consistent with

the probable results of such known hardships.

§3.155   How to file a claim.
The following paragraphs describe the manner and methods in which a claim

can be initiated and filed. The provisions of this section are applicable to

all claims governed by part 3.
(a) Request for an application for benefits. A claimant, his or her duly authorized

representative, a Member of Congress, or some person acting as next friend of a

claimant who is not of full age or capacity, who indicates a desire to file for

benefits under the laws administered by VA, by a communication or action, to

include an electronic mail that is transmitted through VA's electronic portal or

otherwise, that does not meet the standards of a complete claim is

considered a request for an application form for benefits under §3.150(a).

Upon receipt of such a communication or action, the Secretary shall notify

the claimant and the claimant's representative, if any, of the information

necessary to complete the application form or form prescribed by the Secretary.

§3.160   Status of claims.
(a) Complete claim. A submission of an application form prescribed by the

Secretary, whether paper or electronic, that meets the following requirements:
(1) A complete claim must provide the name of the claimant; the relationship to

the veteran, if applicable; and sufficient service information for

VA to verify the claimed service, if applicable.
(2) A complete claim must be signed by the claimant or a person

legally authorized to sign for the claimant.
(3) A complete claim must identify the benefit sought.
(4) A description of any symptom(s) or medical condition(s) on which

the benefit is based must be provided to the extent the form

prescribed by the Secretary so requires; and
(5) For nonservice-connected disability or death pension and  arents' d

ependency and indemnity compensation claims, a statement of income

must be provided to the extent the form prescribed by the Secretary so requires.
(b) Original claim. The initial complete claim for one or more

benefits on an application form prescribed by the Secretary.
(c) Pending claim. A claim which has not been finally adjudicated.
(d) Finally adjudicated claim. A claim that is adjudicated by the

Department of Veterans Affairs as either allowed or disallowed is

considered finally adjudicated by whichever of the following occurs first:

Vets groups back push to freeze VA spending on art

Two veterans' advocacy groups are backing a push from House Republicans to

prohibit the Department of Veterans Affairs from buying luxury artwork, after

controversy erupted over reports that the VA has spent significant funds on decorations.

New phone scam targets elderly Central Texas veterans

Police are warning about a new scam that’s surfaced in Killeen and Copperas

Cove that appears to target elderly residents who receive VA benefits.

Vets Group Urges Passage of Legislation

that Offers VA Alternatives

America’s veterans are forced to drive hours to get to the nearest Veterans Affairs

clinic, wait months for doctors’ appointments, and are routinely being subject to

shameful service (unsanitary medical equipment, etc.). Few people have been

fired as a result of the scandal and VA Secretary Robert McDonald has even

minimized the situation by comparing it to the

challenges of standing in line at Disney World.

Non-profit flies local veterans to appointments for free

“Vet Air” provides free air transportation to doctor’s appointments for

veterans who have difficulty sitting for long periods of time.

Hoosier veteran says it’s time Indiana legalizes medical

marijuana, citing VA prescribing practices

The Indiana Marine veteran has registered a nonprofit with the state, Hoosier

Veterans for Medical Cannabis, and said he is committed to pushing Indiana

lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana. “There needs to be an alternative,”

Staker said. It’s in part his first-hand account of prescribing practices,

with doctors in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs,

Staker said that is promoting the new action.

Homeless Reno veterans get new

housing complex to call home

There is a clean, safe, new place for veterans to live who were once homeless.
It is a 20-unit apartment complex located off Mill Street. The complex was once

considered dirty and dingy but has undergone a $1.5 million renovation. One of the

newest residents is Curtis Thomas. The Air Force veteran said, "I'm

thankful to God that he gave me another chance and had me move somewhere like this."

Educational benefits for veterans

addressed at veterans advisory meeting

According to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03), the biggest hurdle for men and

women after serving in the military is finding the education benefits that are

available for veterans. But there are programs to help. In Spring 2016, Jacksonville

State University had about 430 students using some type of VA

educational benefit. Justin Parker, the university's director of veteran services,

also says there are still many veterans unaware of the assistance they can get.

Military Update: Move would give veterans

access to cheap online shopping

The Department of Defense's Executive Resale Board voted unanimously this

month to recommend that military exchange services open online discount

shopping to 19 million honorably discharged veterans next year. Officials

hope this move increases exchange revenues to offset declines due to the

sharp drawdown in active duty forces, base closures, elimination of on-base

tobacco product discounts and reduced margins from selling cheaper gasoline on base.

DAVIS Relief Carvings

Custom carvings by a veteran.

I do military themes, sports logos,

business logos, Bible boxes,

occasional canes and much more.

These make great gifts!

(I ordered the Big Red One you see above

as a gift.  First class work and service!)

/s/ Jim Strickland

Houston Bar Association Helping Veterans
A major challenge many veterans face is access to legal assistance. Low

income vets in Greater Houston are getting help through the Veterans Legal Initiative.

Veterans more likely than civilians to commit suicide

Unlike previous reports from the department, this one combines information on

all recorded veteran suicides across the US. It shows that in 2014 veterans

accounted for 18 percent of all deaths by suicide among U.S. adults.

Nearly 70 percent of those deaths involved a firearm. 

Shortage of doctors for veterans leads to

long waits for appointments

Many disabled or aging veterans voiced concerns at the meeting,

but one was repeated over and over: appointments with a

doctor at local Veterans Affairs clinics are crucial, but not easy to get. 

This N.J. County Has Housed All Of Its Homeless Veterans
If a veteran becomes homeless, he’ll get temporary housing within

30 days and permanent housing within three months.

Vietnam military veterans to be honored Aug. 22

Vietnam Era military veterans will soon be honored as part of a

national commemoration that spans more than 12 years.

Wags4Patriots: Service dogs for service members
For some of our brave servicemen and women, the return home from

war is not the end of the battle. Every year thousands of our nation's

veterans are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

from their tours of duty, and easing back into society is difficult or even terrifying

No Excuse for VA’s Litany of Excuses

Apparently, Department of Veterans Affairs officials haven’t learned much from

the wait-time scandal that shook VA to its foundations and forced

the resignation of former Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Distance, delays and denial:

The VA organ transplant system
Sick veterans are being forced to travel more than a thousand miles for

care. In many cases that distance proves to be a daunting barrier

between those who have served, and the organ transplants they need to survive.

Peter Lucas: VA's frivolous expenditures not a pretty picture

There is perhaps no better example of waste in the scandalous Veterans

Administration than the millions spent on art instead of on care. You could

begin with the $670,000 spent on two sculptures at a California blind veterans

rehabilitation center that the blind veterans cannot even see. It may be ludicrous

to point out that, as far as the Obama administration and the VA is concerned,

it is the blind leading the blind. But that is the way it seems.

Becoming Disabled
Roughly one in five Americans lives with a
disability. So where is our pride movement?

Knoxville disabled veteran waits

months for surgery appointment

A disabled veteran has been having trouble seeing a doctor so he can have

surgery. He’s part of the VA’s Veterans Choice program,

which is supposed to speed up the process of getting to a doctor.

New VA head was target of inquiry

The next director of the VA Northern Indiana Health Care system was

suspended from his command at an Army hospital in 2013, but Michael

Hershman said Wednesday he was cleared of alleged misdeeds.

VA employees pitch ideas for improving health

services in "Shark Tank" style scrum

Taking a cue from the ABC show Shark Tank, the VA Innovation Demo

Day brought these employee-entrepreneurs before a panel of VA leaders,

including VA Undersecretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin, who said the

goal of the event was to highlight programs that

could work for the system at large.

Glitch Takes Down VA Systems

A software upgrade gone wrong caused widespread system outages

across the Veterans Affairs Department, officials confirmed Tuesday.

The agency’s main website, VA.gov,  as well as Vets.gov,

associated websites, and apps were temporarily affected,

a VA spokesperson told MeriTalk.

VA Art Spending: A Case of Misplaced Priorities

Several weeks ago, ABC News broke a story about VA’s extravagant

spending on artwork at VA facilities.  The story was based on a report released

by the watchdog group Open the Books, which showed that between

2004 and 2014, VA spent about $20 million on

artwork for VA hospitals and other facilities.

Dying veteran turned away from the Milwaukee VA

The I-TEAM has learned the Milwaukee VA refused to admit a dying

veteran into their hospice care unit. Robert Laise had kidney

disease and died six days after the VA turned him away.

Vet sues VA, claims interns made medical decisions

Radford is suing the VA system alleging, among other things, medical

negligence and malpractice. The VA had no comment, citing the

pending lawsuit and patient privacy.

VA Extends New Hepatitis C Drugs to All Veterans in Its Health System

Aided by new funds from Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs

(VA) is extending new antiviral treatments to all veterans with hepatitis C

treated within its sprawling health care system—regardless of the stage

of their illness and whether they contracted these infections during military service.

St. Cloud VA patient data mistakenly inflated, review finds

Despite a determination that the errors were unintentional, U.S. Reps. Tom

Emmer and Tim Walz say they are disappointed in a finding by a Veterans

Affairs investigation that the St. Cloud VA provided inaccurate figures

that inflated its success in the number of patients it saw

and the number of doctors it had on staff.

Malaria drug causes brain damage that mimics PTSD

The case of a service member diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder but

found instead to have brain damage caused by a malaria drug raises

questions about the origin of similar symptoms in other post-9/11 veterans.

'Ghost panels' found at Iowa City VA hospital

More than 1,200 veterans receiving care at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs

Hospital were assigned to “ghost panels” — primary care doctors who was

not actively providing care — in early 2016, a new report by the watchdog

arm of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found.

Vietnam vet: Temple VA doctor withholding pain medications

A Harker Heights resident is saying his primary care physician at the

Temple Veterans Affairs hospital is refusing to refill prescriptions

for pain medication he’s been taking for 40 years.

Hearing continued for former Kansas VA physician assistant

accused of sexually abusing patients
Mark Wisner has been charged with aggravated sexual battery,

hearing rescheduled for Sept. 15

St. Cloud VA 'inaccurately represented' doctor-to-patient ratios

An investigation by the VA into staffing issues at the St. Cloud Veterans

Medical Center finds managers were playing with the numbers.

VA watchdog confirms circumstances of Iowa

vet's suicide will be reviewed
Vet's mom: Doctor says sergeant left appointment, didn't return call

Vet care delays intolerable

As the countdown to the end of President Barack Obama’s time in office begins,

so does the effort to discern his legacy. On veterans care, that legacy will

not be something of which he or the nation should be proud.

VA appeals process drags on longer than World War II

The Veterans Affairs appeals process is broken. That comes directly from the

Department of Veterans Affairs’ report on Veteran Appeals Experience.

The numbers are staggering. As of January 2015,

approximately 440,000 veterans had appeals pending.

Widow of shooting suspect: My husband needed help

She found herself questioning why Kevin couldn't get proper

treatment for the mental illness that precipitated his death.

Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

Craig N. Bash M.D.

The VA has codes for both tinnitus and hearing loss and both can be rated simultaneously

without regard to the pyramids rule, which essentially states that each organ system only

is to be rated with one code (not an absolute rule as there are exceptions). In my

experience almost all veterans suffer form some level of tinnitus/hearing loss

due to the nature of military service. All veterans are exposed to excessive

noise even from common ubiquitous items such as diesel engines, jet blasts and

explosions. Thus does not even consider the need for weapons training. Historically

most veterans were not supplied with Mickey Mouse type acoustic muffs and/or

earplugs or these items were ill fitted or they item were not always available in

training or combat. As rudimentary test, when I talk with veterans over the phone and

I they can not hear me in normal conversation that is a good basic indication that they

have moderate to severe hearing loss. If I note this defect, I send patients out for

private hearing testing as in my experience the private testing is more accurate

than the internal VA testing maybe due to superior equipment or better more

soundproof laboratories. The private tests results are important as the VA codes

for hearing loss are based solely on data form the hearing lab which is entered

into an X and Y axis graph. Once the data is grafted the hearing loss rating

percentages are read off directly the graph. Tinnitus is a subjective noise ringing

in the ears and is often associated with hearing losses. Tinnitus can also be

associated with Meniere’s disease, which carries a higher percent rating.

Tinnitus is usually rated at 10%.

1. Any veteran who was in service should have formal (civilian) hearing tests.
2. Veterans should write lay letters about their experience with tinnitus as this

can be rated in addition to hearing loss.
3. Veterans should also write lay letters about any vertigo as this can be a

seriously disabling condition which may be related to acoustic trauma.
4. All patients should have a private medical nexus opinions and exams by a

physician experienced with acoustic trauma. Physicians should do DBQ

forms for all hearing loss cases prior to all VA decisions.
5. All patients should go to any BVA in-person hearings because the outcome of the

cases is more accurate. The decisions are more accurate because the BVA as the

judge is able to ask the patient real time detailed questions based on the

medical record and offer suggestions to the patient concerning any

information that is needed for a favorable decision in line with the duty to assist rules.

FYI *** VA has a new policy of “ No Form No Benefit” (NFNB) so please do all VA forms as
carefully as possible. The use of an accredited agent is prudent.

Craig N. Bash M.D. Associate Professor
drbash@doctor.com cell 240-506- 1556
Independent Veteran Medical Opinion (IMO)
Medical Nexus Opinion based on veterans medical records

Dr. Brett Valette provides Military Veterans with psychological

Independent Medical Evaluation, Independent Medical Opinions,

Nexus Letters and Ratings Reviews. For more information visit